How Orienteering Signs And Symbols Work

If you are new to orienteering, you may be confused about the orienteering signs and symbols. For the purpose of this article, we will provide an introduction to orienteering sign and symbol usage, as well as the various types of orienteering maps. In addition to this, we will discuss the meaning of orienteering control descriptions and map scales. To help you understand these symbols, here are some examples:

Orienteering map symbols

orienteering signs and symbols
orienteering signs and symbols

Orienteering maps often include a series of different symbols that represent the various elements that can help you find your way. Unlike a traditional map, orienteering maps contain symbols for each control type. These symbols are similar to control descriptions but differ slightly. In some cases, these symbols are used as a guide to locate individual control flags. Whether you’re unfamiliar with orienteering map symbols, a map key will be helpful when orienteering.

Orienteering map symbols vary according to the area in which you plan to orientate yourself. The distance between the true north and magnetic north is approximately 250 meters. This distance is typical for a 1:10,000 scale map. Orienteering map symbols are often made with the magnetic north in mind, as the angle between true and magnetic north is different in different parts of the world. To help you navigate, reference lines are placed on maps to make it easy to use a compass.

Orienteering map symbols are important for helping you get your bearings during the race. Symbols are used to indicate the exact location of controls and are essential for accurate navigation. Orienteering map symbols are typically based on the ISOM 2017-2 map standard and the BoF school orienteering map standards. The ISOM 2017-2 map symbols are used for normal orienteering maps, while those for sprint orienteering use the ISSprOM 2019 sprint symbol.

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ISOM 2017-2 map standard

List of common orienteering signs and symbols

  • Arrow with red tip – this arrow points to a control or direction.
  • Arrow with black tip – this arrow points to a direction.
  • T-Intersection – this sign indicates two trails meet. One must choose which trail to take, as there is no trail continuing straight.
  • Directional Arrow + Arrowhead – this sign indicates the direction of a route without referring to a specific control. This is used on trails and roads, not at control sites.
  • Circle with an Arrow – this sign indicates that the way is closed, i.e., it shows the direction one cannot go. It is used for instance on private property, where one cannot enter without permission from the owner.
  • L-Intersection – this sign indicates several trails meet and one must choose from multiple directions which route to take.
  • Directional Triangle with Arrow + Arrowhead – this sign indicates that there is an alternate route but refers to a specific control site (i.e., there is no specific place one should go). It is used for instance when the way changes because of water in a river or a landslide blocking the original route but there are side trails around it that lead to different controls within a route.

The use of purple and black orienteering map symbols is a common way to indicate your orienteering course. They also serve as a way to designate areas that are out of bounds. Some orienteers also use purple and black symbols to designate map corrections. This can be a fun challenge, as you have to make sure you’re not violating a map restriction.

Orienteering maps include a legend that explains the meaning of the different symbols. Orienteering maps are typically at a 1:10,000 scale, which is five times larger than a standard OS map. It’s important to learn the various colours and symbols on orienteering maps. For example, white space indicates runnable forest, while black is for manmade features. Other colours are used to show landforms and water features.

Orienteering maps are created using the perspective of a walker, and are therefore very large-scale. They feature a lot more detail than a topographic map, which is typically 1:50,000 or 1:25,000 scale. Scale is important because orienteering uses a scale that makes point features easier to recognize. However, if you’re using a map for a long championship, you may want to consider a smaller scale.

Orienteering maps use the same standard symbols as road maps, but they have been modified in order to make them more legible. For instance, if you’re planning to climb an elevated object, you’ll want to place a pole where the shadow intersects the object. This way, your map will be easier to read. Also, if an area is off-limits, only prominent buildings should be represented. Similarly, if a building completely encloses the object, it should be mapped as part of it.

Orienteering control descriptions

Orienteering courses often use map symbols, but not all of them have map symbols. In some cases, the map is not labeled with the control number. It is important to read the control descriptions carefully to make sure you’re at the right place. Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your course. Start by understanding the map symbols. Once you know what these symbols mean, you can read and interpret the map controls.

First, you should understand how orienteering maps are drawn. Typically, they are 1:10,000 scale, five times larger than the average OS map. Because they are so detailed, it’s necessary to understand their different colours. For example, white space represents runnable forest, while black is used for man-made features. Brown and blue are used to identify water features and landforms.

Another important aspect of orienteering maps is the use of control description symbols. IOF developed control description symbols to provide a uniform means of description for competitors in different countries. These symbols are also intended to eliminate language-based confusion. They also give greater precision to a map by indicating the location of the control flag. When used correctly, they help competitors visualize control sites. In addition, IOF maps are easier to read and understand, so using map symbols is a key to orienteering.

orienteering signs and symbols
orienteering signs and symbols

Aside from maps, orienteering uses control point markers to indicate where competitors must go next. These are called control points, and they are used in many sports, including orienteering. An orienteering control point is marked on a map, either by a sign or by the terrain. A control point has three components: a high visibility item, an identifier, and a recording mechanism. Orienteering controls are temporary and not permanent.

Orienteering maps feature a variety of wood posts and wooden signs. A permanent course will have many control areas marked on the map. In addition to the sign, the map will also have lines indicating which controls should be reached in order. These lines need not be traveled, but will help orienteers determine the order in which the controls should be reached. However, it’s a good idea to practice orienteering courses on a regular basis.

Orienteering maps can be confusing. A full map symbol key can help you find the right direction. Orienteering maps also feature blue magnetic north lines. These lines should run the same direction as the compass needle. To start orienteering, place your thumb on the map at a particular point. Make sure to check your thumb as you move. At intersections, make sure your thumb stays on location.

Orienteering map scales

Orienteering maps are not based on a standard map scale, and they can vary greatly depending on the terrain. The USGS produces maps, which are used by orienteers. Lower scales of O’maps give more detail than Topos, but often feature symbols that aren’t used on Topos. For example, ISOM #418 and #419 depict deciduous trees and conifers, respectively. While such details may seem redundant for an orienteer, it’s important to keep in mind that in winter, you may want to avoid walking or using a mountain trail.

Orienteering maps also contain a variety of icons and topographical lines to indicate vegetation and terrain. Colors are often used to indicate the presence or absence of landmarks. Yellow and orange represent open land and green represents areas with low visibility. Orienteering maps are also more detailed than standard OS maps. The density of each color also reflects how clear the terrain is. Light color signifies runnable forest, while dark colors are rough, open land.

Orienteering map scales are often based on the international standard for orienteering maps. 1:24,000 scale maps are often very detailed, with finer detail than topographic maps. For example, one inch on a 1:24,000 map equals 2,000 feet in real life. In contrast, a 1:10k map, while visually identical to 1:15k, is designed for older competitors who may not require a large map. Sprint maps are sometimes made with a scale of 1:4000 or 1:5,000, but use a different symbol set.

orienteering signs and symbols
orienteering signs and symbols

There are many different orienteering map scales. While most of them are fairly standard, there are exceptions. Orienteering maps are usually 1:15,000 or 1:10,000, and most compasses come with a ruler that measures distance in either centimeters or millimeters. Regardless of the scale, it’s important to keep in mind that each one is designed for a different use.

The distance between magnetic north and magnetic south is a common misconception. Maps with a magnetic north line are often more accurate and easier to read. By laying the compass along the top of the map, an orienteer can quickly and accurately orient himself to magnetic north. This method is especially useful when the distance between two points is quite large. The distance between the north line and the magnetic north line on the map is typically 250 meters.

Some orienteering map scales are higher than others. Some are much higher than others. Some maps have scales that are more than twice the size of a standard topographic map. Orienteering map scales vary depending on the terrain. The scale of an orienteering map is important for the accuracy of navigation. To ensure accuracy, use a scale with more than one metric unit.

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Dustin Johns

I love orienteering and hiking. The best part about it is that it's a sport for anyone, of any age or ability. I learned it when I was young, and I've been doing it often ever since.

I love how the Earth feels, and how free you feel when you're a part of nature. I love the way everything looks so different and so spectacular with your eyes wide open in an unfamiliar location under the bright sun. I love pushing myself to explore new places and discover my own limits as well as conquering new challenges. I love going on long walks and interacting with local people in small villages.